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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

Archives

Thursday September 21

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:oopm. Free.
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Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington DL1 3AD. 1:30pm. Free. 01325 463262.

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Evening.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter's Wheel, Sunniside NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. Free.
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Courtney Pine: Black Notes from the Deep - Sage Gateshead NE8 2JR. 7:30pm. £25.60. 0191 4434661.
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Katie Mac (w. 6 piece band) - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free.
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Emma Fisk & James Birkett - St. Cuthbert's Church, Shadforth DH6 1LF. 7:30pm.
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Pocket Jazz Orchestra: Jazz & Tapas - No. 60, Arc, Dovecote St., Stockton TS18 1LL. 7pm. £10.
Tees Hot Club w. Alan Marshall (saxes); Kevin Eland (trumpet); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. 9pm. Free.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

CD Review: Tommy Smith w. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - Modern Jacobite

Tommy Smith (tenor sax/orchestrations) w. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Clark Rundell.
(Review by Lance)
Going back to Paul Whiteman, then, through the years, to Alec Templeton, John Dankworth, Gunther Schuller and many others, jazz musicians and composers have tried to fuse the two idioms – jazz and European classical music. The results have varied from the abysmal to the near sublime. This, I’m pleased to say, is closer to the latter category. Smith succeeds where most have failed by making the saxophone a solo instrument as compatible with a symphony orchestra as a violin, cello or clarinet and possibly more so  than an oboe or a bassoon.
Vocalise, by Rachmaninoff, opens up and Smith’s subtle variations could well have been written into the score had the Russian composer been born somewhat later and in Scotland!
A portmanteau of compositions, ostensibly by Chick Corea, entitled, simply Children’s Songs are delivered with inspirational verve.
The Stan Getz/Eddie Sauter, Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaborations spring to mind but this is a Smith/Smith collaboration that loses nothing by comparison. It lays down a benchmark for arrangers with ‘pretensions’ - pretensions that will be unlikely to reach this level.
Smith soars through, above and beyond, yet always with the symphony orchestra sawing away behind him. He could have been blowing in front of SNJO or a jazz club trio in Edinburgh, the result would have been the same – tenor perfection.
There will be few better tenor saxophone records this year.
In fact there will be few better jazz records this year.
Probably no better ‘classical’ records this year.
Truth is, there will be few better records this year.
Lance.
Tommy Smith w. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - Modern Jacobite will be available on August 26 (Spartacus STS022)

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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